To borrow from Frowns, it’s Stupid Time. So, we get to hear a report every day or so about LeBron and things happening (even when nobody really knows what’s happening, except for LeBron). Today’s story du-jour comes from The New York Times (the Times!). While the Times were careful with their wording, ESPN Chicago has run with it and used much more absolute language.
Since I’m a bigger fan of quoting the less sensational, here’s what The Times had to say:
[T]he meetings might not be much more than a formality. The executive, who did not want to be identified discussing a player who is not yet a free agent, said he had gathered from discussions with his fellow N.B.A.executives that James was strongly leaning toward joining the Bulls in tandem with another free agent, Chris Bosh of the Toronto Raptors.
“I think it’s a done deal,” the executive said.
He said he thought James was going ahead with the meetings in Ohio “to be respectful to all these teams who jumped through these hoops,” a reference to the clubs, like the Knicks, who traded reasonably talented players like Jamal Crawford the last two seasons in an effort to open up as much salary-cap space as possible. But if James and Bosh are indeed going to Chicago, moves like the ones the Knicks made will have been done at least partly in vain.
So, LeBron’s still going to listen to teams’ sales pitches. He could even change his mind, if it’s made up. But one exec (who spoke anonymously to avoid tampering, as any wallet-wise exec would do) THINKS it’s a “done deal”. Take that for what it’s worth. Don’t be like some of the kids I grew up with who are burning the LeBron jerseys as we speak and cursing his name, because of an internet report. I think we’ve all learned that initial reports can be wrong at this point.
As of right now, we don’t know what the salary cap will be. Everyone is basing the 2010/2011 cap based off of conjecture. So to say that the Bulls or Team X have enough salary cap space to sign two max contracts is not really accurate. As the current cap projection stands, the Bulls will be about $2 million dollars short of signing both Bosh and James to max deals (according to Andrew in our internal emails – thx buddy). The salary cap won’t be announced until July 8th, the first day that teams can publicly comment on contract negotiations with free agents.
Only like 10 days until LeBron can officially talk about things. I hope you guys have hobbies, or at least something to strap yourselves to – it’ll be a bumpy few weeks.
UPDATE: According to Art Garcia of NBA.com Chris Bosh’s agent has stated that Bosh has not made any sort of decision at this point. Additionally, ESPN’s Chris Broussard said on air that these reports are conjecture.
UPDATE II (Scott): According to Stephen A. Smith (and sources), both LeBron James and Chris Bosh will be joining Dwyane Wade in Miami this season. So, that solves that…